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  • China is killing Africa with debt

  • And colonizing it

  • Country by Country

  • This China Uncensored.

  • I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Have you ever borrowed money

  • say, for school, or a shipping port

  • but struggled to pay it back?

  • And then your loan shark,

  • I mean, lender was like

  • Ok, no problem.

  • Just give me the rights to everything you earn

  • for the next 99 years.”

  • I think we can all relate.

  • And so can a lot of countries who've borrowed money from China.

  • It's calleddebt-trap diplomacy”.

  • Just ask Sri Lanka, a small island nation off the coast of India.

  • In 2010, they got a small 1.5 billion dollar Chinese loan

  • to build a giant shipping port in the town of Hambantota.

  • But there wasn't much shipping traffic,

  • which meant not much cashflow.

  • Sri Lanka missed a few payments and,

  • next thing you know,

  • they had to sign away the entire port to China

  • with a 99-year lease.

  • But it's not always easy to learn from others' mistakes.

  • In Africa, dozens of countries have taken out Chinese loans.

  • And last September,

  • China pledged to invest another 60 billion dollars in Africa.

  • China and Africa will join hands to build

  • a China-Africa community with shared future

  • that features win-win cooperation,

  • happiness for all,

  • and harmonious coexistence.”

  • Of course, Xi Jinping's definition of win-win is that,

  • if the country can pay off the loan,

  • China wins.

  • If they can't,

  • China takes over its assets instead,

  • and China still wins.

  • So, win-win.

  • So which African countries are most at risk of,

  • shall we call it,

  • getting Sri Lanka'd”?

  • Well, here are the five African countries

  • with the most debt to China.

  • Number 5

  • Sudan.

  • Sudan was first country in sub-saharan Africa

  • to recognize the People's Republic of China.

  • That was back in 1959.

  • The Diplomat calls it China's original foothold.

  • Which should not be confused with the original Footloose.

  • You can tell the difference because Footloose had Kevin Bacon,

  • and Sudan had...genocide.

  • Sudan is a conflict-torn country that holds the record

  • for the longest-running civil war in Africa,

  • resulting in the deaths of 2 million people

  • and the breakup of the country into Sudan and South Sudan.

  • Here's Sudan's leader Omar al-Bashir

  • at the recent China-Africa summit in Beijing.

  • Bashir's name might sound familiar because of...

  • all the war crimes he committed in Darfur.

  • Allegedly.

  • But things are looking up for Sudan,

  • since it's set to get the largest share of that 60 billion dollars

  • Xi Jinping pledged Africa back in September.

  • Chinese investment in Sudan has given China

  • control of around 75% of the country's oil industry,

  • under supervision of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

  • Although some of the facilities are fixer-uppers.

  • Some of that Chinese money was used

  • to upgrade the Khartoum Refinery

  • and double production to 100,000 barrels a day.

  • Which is important.

  • Because the vast majority of that oil goes to China.

  • And there are plenty of other resources to tap in Sudan, too.

  • Like gold.

  • And loyalty.

  • Sudan's estimated debt to China is now $6.4 billion dollars.

  • And with China's pledge to provide more financing,

  • that debt could balloon big time.

  • According to this IMF report,

  • Sudan's external debt is assessed to be unsustainable.”

  • But that's not even so bad,

  • compared to several other countries, including...

  • Number 4

  • The Republic of the Congo.

  • Not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

  • its larger and less democratic neighbor.

  • The Republic of the Congo owes China 7.3 billion dollars.

  • China and Congo have launched projects

  • worth several billion dollars.

  • These include a motorway between Brazzaville

  • and the economic capital of Pointe Noire,

  • the construction of Brazzaville Stadium,

  • a hydro-electric dam,

  • and upgrades to the country's airport.”

  • According to a paper by the China-Africa Research Initiative,

  • the Republic of the Congo is one of three African countries

  • alongside Zambia and Djibouti

  • where Chinese loans make up

  • the most significant contributor to high risk of debt distress.”

  • So what does this Chinese debt mean?

  • It's a growing amount,

  • we don't know the conditions,

  • and these countries are going to be increasingly leveraged

  • to repay that when they are unable,

  • China will make additional demands,

  • these countries will have less money

  • to spend on social services and other programs,

  • it's somewhat of a downward spiral.”

  • The mere thought of thoseadditional demands

  • are making Congo's president break out in a sweat.

  • Some of the projects there have raised eyebrows,

  • like when Chinese companies built

  • the new Congolese parliament building.

  • For free!

  • Maybe it's so they can make sure the offices

  • are set up just the way they like it

  • when Congo defaults on its debts

  • and Chinese officials move in and take over.

  • No, I'm just kidding.

  • The Chinese regime doesn't want to take over.

  • It's more likely that they built the parliament building

  • so they could bug the whole thing.

  • Like they did with the African Union building.

  • More about that in a few minutes.

  • According to the IMF,

  • Congo is officially in debt distress

  • and they've been shopping around for a bailout.

  • But it's not going to be easy.

  • When the IMF did some due diligence,

  • they found the Republic of the Congo

  • may be hiding part of its debt.

  • The the country claims its debt to GDP ratio is 77% of GDP.

  • But the IMF calculated that ratio to be 117%.

  • They accused the government of lying,

  • and called for an anti-corruption watchdog

  • to be set up before they agree to release any funds.

  • But I have a better idea,

  • one that won't require Congo to clean up its corruption.

  • Congo is a major oil producer,

  • so maybe China will agree to take oil as collateral...

  • and then lend them some more money.

  • It'll be win-win.

  • For China.

  • Number 3

  • Kenya

  • Home of the famous Maasai warriors.

  • Kenya's Maasai warriors may have used spears like these

  • to hunt wild animals in the past.

  • But now they're using them to take part in Maasai olympics.”

  • In the past young Maasai men proved themselves by killing lions.

  • But now, with its debt to China at nearly 8 billion dollars,

  • the Maasai are instead hunting for cash.

  • More money, fewer dead lions.

  • Win-win.

  • But not all Kenyans feel like they're winning.

  • There are reports of disgruntled travelers

  • on a new 3.5 billion dollar railway,

  • built and funded by China.

  • Customers complain tickets can be bought one-way only

  • and just 3 days in advance.”

  • The 290-mile Nairobi-Mombasa railway

  • is Kenya's biggest infrastructure project

  • since the country became independent in 1964.

  • It's catchy slogan with Chinese characteristics is:

  • Connecting Nations.

  • Prospering People.”

  • Kenya's president loves his train set so much,

  • that he recently secured another 3.6 billion dollar loan from China

  • to extend the railway line by 155 miles.

  • Opposition parties say the project is too expensive,

  • won't generate enough revenue,

  • and is a ticking financial time bomb.

  • Because after a 10-year grace period,

  • Kenya has to start paying back the loan.

  • But Kenya's president isn't worried.

  • Because that'll be the next president's problem.

  • Number 2

  • Ethiopia.

  • Ethiopia owes China an estimated 13.5 billion dollars.

  • But don't worry.

  • China's ambassador says by lending all this cash,

  • China is not only helping Ethiopia,

  • but the entire world.

  • China sometimes feels lonely,

  • because we are one of the biggest,

  • and the only country that has invested heavily

  • in the development of infrastructure in this country,

  • because we believe finally the development of infrastructure

  • has not only served the local people,

  • the host country,

  • it has also served the investors from other countries.”

  • How selfless.

  • Chinese money and Chinese workers built Ethiopia

  • a rail link to neighboring Djibouti,

  • and a system of trams in Ethiopia's capital,

  • Addis Ababa.

  • It's good they're building the tram

  • to reduce the traffic jams in the city.

  • With regard to quality,

  • I think the Chinese did an ok job.

  • Still, it might have been better to give it to a Western company.”

  • Well, at least the quality is ok.

  • Not as high tech as the African Union headquarters

  • China built in Ethiopia, though.

  • That building is so advanced,

  • it was able to spy on people inside and transmit

  • confidential data to Shanghai each day for 5 years.

  • In China's defense,

  • it was a feature,

  • not a bug.

  • And...

  • Number 1

  • Angola.

  • It's the African country with the most debt to China:

  • $25 billion dollars.

  • To rack up that kind of debt,

  • it took more than a few one-off projects.

  • In Angola, Chinese companies and Chinese loans

  • are building entire cities.

  • Like the city of Zongo,

  • on the outskirts of the capital.

  • The multi-million dollar city is being fully-funded

  • by the China International Fund Limited.

  • It will hand over the project to the government upon completion.”

  • Yes, it will definitely hand it over to the Angolan government.

  • Because it's the right thing to do.

  • Incidentally, that China International Fund Limited

  • has shady links to the Chinese regime,

  • and a history of investing in unstable African dictatorships,

  • all the while securing rights to extract minerals and other resources.

  • Chinese companies are also using debt

  • to finance what will become the biggest airport

  • in a city you've never heard of:

  • Luanda.

  • Luanda is Angola's capital,

  • but it probably doesn't need an airport as big as the one in Cairo,

  • a city you've definitely heard of.

  • Especially when it costs nearly 4 billion dollars,

  • and is several years behind schedule.

  • On the plus side,

  • the construction is creating jobs in a country

  • where the unemployment rate is 20%.

  • The downside is,

  • those jobs are being done

  • almost exclusively by Chinese workers.

  • And let's just say locals are not happy.

  • Maybe this isn't a win-win.

  • So what do you think about African countries

  • being so highly indebted to China?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • And before we go,

  • it's time to answer a question from a fan

  • who supports China Uncensored

  • on the crowd funding website Patreon.

  • David Michael White asks

  • Chris, I know that it's been awhile

  • since you have been in South Korea

  • but what was the best part of your trip there?”